Third seeded Osaka couldn’t make it to the second week of the US open after a shock defeat to unseeded Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the third round. It is safe to say Osaka’s focus hasn’t truly recovered after the infamous exit from Roland Garros. The most disappointing part of the match for her was the fact that she won the first set and she had identical break point opportunities and breaks of serve as the Canadian teenager. A lefty’s forehand is her most potent weapon. Check out first game of the match with Osaka already on break point 40-30. Leylah gets down very low and clears the net which must have been great for her confidence. Naomi served up 15 Aces which again did not translate to the win disappointingly. Watching 6-5(40-0) i can see why aiming and landing the ball on the T almost guarantees the point.
The doggedness of Fernandez was astonishing in that second set. I have earlier said her forehand was the greatest weapon, have a look at the backhand at 1-1(40-0) to finish off a great service game. Naomi pretty slow to move to the center of the baseline thus was punished emphatically. A backhand with the ball so close to your body is one of the most difficult shots to pull off. When Naomi pulled it off at 5-5(40-30) to break Leylah, you could have been forgiven for thinking it was game over. The left arm used there to get the direction and power. The two time champ blew it in the next game. A shockingly bad forehand that missed even the doubles line. From there it went downhill for the Japanese, losing the tie break rather poorly. How about this for a delicate touch, 5-3(15-0 Osaka).You can only play that shot when you high on confidence and it showed that the Canadian had it in abundance. And she repeated the trick again at 5-4(30-0). The forehand by Osaka at match point the next point was all but a sign of resignation. Some time off for Osaka? Well I don’t agree with this. She needs to play more tennis to get her confidence back.